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I would like to thank everyone for their help in getting Governor Paterson to reverse his decision to close the Reynolds Game Farm (pheasant farm). It was the over whelming support from everyone that finally turned a bad decision around. The good things that are resulting from this is that now all of the facts about where our money ( Conservation Fund)is spent will come out. It has awoken the sleeping giant (sportsmen and gun owners). We must stand together and protect all our rights. I will be looking for input about funding the pheasant farm and the Conservation Fund, that will be after we see the expenditure reports. Here is the Governors press release. Yours in ConservationHarold L. Palmer

President

New York State Conservation Council, Inc.

>>> Press Office <Governor'[email protected]> 1/16/2009 3:06 PM >>>


State of New York | Executive Chamber
David A. Paterson | Governor

For Immediate Release: January 16, 2009
Contact: Errol Cockfield | errol.co[email protected] |
212.681.4640 | 518.474.8418
Contact: Erin Duggan | [email protected] | 212.681.4640 |
518.474.8418
DEC Contact: Yancey Roy | [email protected] | 518.402.8000


GOVERNOR PATERSON DIRECTS DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION TO
EXPLORE SUSTAINABLE FUNDING STREAM TO FULLY FUND THE PHEASANT FARM
OPERATION


Small Game Hunting Brings Millions of Dollars to the Upstate Economy


Hunters Commit to Partner with State to Preserve Savings and Economic
Benefits from Hunting


Governor David A. Paterson today announced that he has directed the
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to halt the closure of the
Reynolds Game Farm in Tompkins County as state officials and hunting groups
explore options to fully support the costs of the program with increased
license fees.

?The State has long recognized the economic impact hunters and their
industry provide for New York State,? said Governor Paterson. ?I am pleased
that sportsmen and women have joined us to help find creative ways to
weather the state?s fiscal crisis while preserving programs important to
them.?

According to DEC, approximately 60,000 sportsmen and women hunt pheasants
in New York State each year. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2006
National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation has
estimated that small game hunters spent approximately $600 per person per
year on excursions and equipment-related expenses in 2006, contributing
potentially millions of dollars to the State economy.

Since the closure of the farm was proposed, hunting groups have advanced
several proposals to establish increased license fees or other hunting
related fees to support program costs. In consideration of this effort, the
Governor has requested that DEC develop a fee structure that will generate
new revenues to the Conservation Fund that would fully offset the
operational and capital costs of the facility. If sufficient resources can
be identified, operation of the Game Farm would continue in State Fiscal
Year 2009-10. Governor Paterson asked DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis to
explore a sustainable, hunting related funding stream to cover the expenses
of the farm without the use of State dollars. Other long term options to
sustain the State?s pheasant stocking program could also be explored.

The farm, located outside of Ithaca, propagates pheasants for the hunting
season. Operating costs are more than $750,000 per year ? $400,000 of that
in personnel. State law permits pheasant hunting through a $16 small game
license. The Reynolds Game Farm is largely paid for through the
Conservation Fund, although the Fund?s annual deficits have required the
use of State dollars to keep the farm operating.

Money from hunting and fishing licenses is dedicated to the Conservation
Fund, which helps support a number of programs including fish hatcheries,
sporting license databases, wildlife health monitoring studies and stream
and lake surveys.

All pheasants distributed through the pheasant stocking program are
released, either by DEC or other cooperators, on land open to the public
for pheasant hunting. On an annual basis, the pheasant stocking program
typically produces:


- 25,000 adult pheasants that are raised on site and distributed
by DEC.
- 60,000 day-old pheasant chicks that are distributed to and
released by 160 4-H clubs, numerous sportsmen?s clubs and five
New York State prisons each year.
- 15,000 young pheasants distributed to individual landowners.
- 1,600 adult pheasants for special hunts including people with
disabilities and youths (ages 12 to 15).


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Good news for a change around here !

Now lets hope Governor Paterson doesnt take up hunting ! ( for the rest of the country...he is blind )

Thanks for your efforts,

Chris
 
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